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Why Did Wigan Go Pop?


Simon M
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I never made it to Wigan , but Ive often wondered about the above question . How about some discussion & analysis ( Im sure Robin S , soulfulsaint and geebaby have opinions)

Cheers

Simon :ohmy:

Edited by Simon M
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It didn't. Like everywhere else, it played a few white sompers.

Thats fairly diplomatic Pete . :ohmy: but Keb never put it like that .

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Guest Brian J

I never made it to Wigan , but Ive often wondered about the above question . How about some discussion & analysis ( Im sure Robin S , soulfulsaint and geebaby have opinions)

Cheers

Simon :ohmy:

In my humble opinion, it was to make money where there was money to be made and it worked.

A lot of us where young and totally off our fuckin' trollies.

We'd move to almost anything upbeat with a good dance groove.

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Thats fairly diplomatic Pete . :ohmy: but Keb never put it like that .

Whats keb got to do with it? I went about 80 times and I don't ever remember thinking I should stop going because it was a 'pop' venue. For every Sue Lynne there were another ten records of the quality of John & The Weirdest. The best venue and the best music ever.

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Guest martyn

As Pete said,Wigan never went pop.It was no different to any of the other nighters running in the late 70's sounds wise.

The quallity of sounds did dip in late 78 through 79,but never to the extent where good sounds were totaly non existant.IMO mass bootleging of almost all the top sounds in 76/77/78 made it almost impossible for some of the lesser conected DJs to keep turning up newies without resorting to 2nd grade spot fillers (not always white pop stompers either!)

I would guess that if I looked through my records from those days probably 15% would be by white artists (Paul Anka,Rufus Lumley to name but two),definatly not for the soul purists but cracking NORTHERN Soul.....More to the point if be didnt really care that much then that some of the artists we were listening to were white 'pop'artists why should it be an issue 30 years on?.......Not every white record played on the scene is a bland Murial Day type outing & not every black record oozes soul!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating-Which of you would NOT wan't a couple of hours in a time machine to re-visit Wigan,even if they did play Helen Shapiro & Jackie Trent during the two hours you were there? :ohmy:

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Don't think it was Wigan that went pop but more like the whole Northern scene in the late 70s.

Dont forget how many members the casino had, 120,000+ i think.

How many people are on the northern scene now? Probably a quarter of that amount for a guess so poppy white stompers were going to creep in to satisfy demand.

Lets not forget Wigan was playing pop in the early years, remember Footsie, Wayne Gibson etc.

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Don't think it was Wigan that went pop but more like the whole Northern scene in the late 70s.

Dont forget how many members the casino had, 120,000+ i think.

How many people are on the northern scene now? Probably a quarter of that amount for a guess so poppy white stompers were going to creep in to satisfy demand.

Lets not forget Wigan was playing pop in the early years, remember Footsie, Wayne Gibson etc.

Im with pete on this,the quantity & quality of the good stuff played by far outweighed the crap.A lot people who went did so to get wrecked(remember all the probs with barbs) & didnt give a toss what they were dancing to. :ohmy:
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Lets not forget Wigan was playing pop in the early years, remember Footsie, Wayne Gibson etc.

And so did the Twisted Wheel, The Torch, Blackpool Mecca and all others as well. In fact before Wigan opened, the Rolling Stones version of "Under My Thumb" was played at Va Vas. As it was my first 'nighter, I thought that was a bit odd as it was a relatively well known Stones Track.

Also, aren't white tracks still played on the scene now? I'm sure there are.

Paul

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YES AGREE WITH PETES ,THE FIRST RECORD I BOUGHT AT WIGAN WAS THE RINGLEADERS ON M-PAC FOR £4 OFF KEITH MINSHULL AT THE TIME NOONE HAD LATCHED ON TO IT.I CAN REMEMBER JOCKMITCHELL GONG FOR A FIVER ETC,AS FOR WIGAN GOING POP ,WELL THAT WAS THE MONEY THING AND THE MEDIA,BOTH HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH THE REGULARS WHO WENT WEEK IN WEEK OUT HAD A GREAT TIME AND MADE FRIENDS FOR LIFE.

DONT GET ME WRONG IM NOT PRO WIGAN BY NO MEANS BUT TOWARDS THE BACK END JOHN ANDERSON WAS FEEDING SEARLING AWESOME SOUND AFTER AWESOME SOUND,NO POP IN THAT LOT.

ANOTHER POINT IS THE TURNAROUND OF SOUNDS REMEMBER YOU HAD SEARLING ,SAM,PAT BRADY,RAISTRICK, ETC AT THE TIME TOPOF THEIR GAME ,CANT REMEMBER ANY OF THEM PLAYING POP? I DO REMEMBER HEARING NUMEROUS TRACKS THAT STILL DEMAND GREAT PRICES ,NO POP IN BILLY HAMBRIC,MOSES DILLARD,APPOINTMENTS,EDDIE HOLMAN,PARIS,THE OUT OF SIGHTS,JOE MATHNEWS,VICKIE BAINS,INSPIRATIONS ETC ETC ETC.

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Actually, I'm with Simon M on this.....

......I think everywhere that I've never been is rubbish too ranting_1.gif

Godz

Edited by Godzilla
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Guest martyn

Im with pete on this,the quantity & quality of the good stuff played by far outweighed the crap.A lot people who went did so to get wrecked(remember all the probs with barbs) & didnt give a toss what they were dancing to. ranting_1.gif

Yes,the probs with the barbs came at the same time as dodgy sounds & saturday night crowds dipping to really low numbers at Wigan.However,IMHO it was still part of the 'Golden Era' :( .The Fleet&Yate were still reeling us in to listen to quality sounds in amongst the so called 'pop' tunes

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Im with pete on this,the quantity & quality of the good stuff played by far outweighed the crap.A lot people who went did so to get wrecked(remember all the probs with barbs) & didnt give a toss what they were dancing to. ranting_1.gif

I'm with you & Pete.

Its was primarily a soul scene with a few white stompers thrown in.

None of it mattered too much at the time and it was a lovely way to spend my youth.

No regrets.

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As Pete said,Wigan never went pop.It was no different to any of the other nighters running in the late 70's sounds wise.

The quallity of sounds did dip in late 78 through 79,but never to the extent where good sounds were totaly non existant.IMO mass bootleging of almost all the top sounds in 76/77/78 made it almost impossible for some of the lesser conected DJs to keep turning up newies without resorting to 2nd grade spot fillers (not always white pop stompers either!)

I would guess that if I looked through my records from those days probably 15% would be by white artists (Paul Anka,Rufus Lumley to name but two),definatly not for the soul purists but cracking NORTHERN Soul.....More to the point if be didnt really care that much then that some of the artists we were listening to were white 'pop'artists why should it be an issue 30 years on?.......Not every white record played on the scene is a bland Murial Day type outing & not every black record oozes soul!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating-Which of you would NOT wan't a couple of hours in a time machine to re-visit Wigan,even if they did play Helen Shapiro & Jackie Trent during the two hours you were there? :(

Joanne Summers/Dont pity me rolleyes.gif
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I never made it to Wigan , but Ive often wondered about the above question . How about some discussion & analysis ( Im sure Robin S , soulfulsaint and geebaby have opinions)

Cheers

Simon biggrin.gif

The majority of the more blatant pop records was down to one or two DJ's.....you know what I'm gonna say next :lol: Russ W, Keith M... :D

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:D

Wigan Casino

like everywhere else that was popular to go to and was classed as a club

was always a pop venue,and played future chart sounds as did all clubs in the 6ts and 7ts and which still goes on today in the clubs of 2K

Its the soul sounds of today that are getting more northern exposure in our clubs and even they are getting some results in the charts

"Angie Stone" I Wish I Didnt Miss You" for example

so my answer to the original question is.

Was soul pop?

laugh.gif:lol::lol:

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An very interesting post so far :lol: . I do wish I had a time machine ( like many others do )so I could have gone to Wigan . Certainly the very obvious pop would have made me wince for a while . Would you say that some jocks spots were dominated by pop at some point in Wigan history ? ( Steve G 's post and Kebs interview have indicated this) Playlists would be nice :D

ps.Obviously the great sounds outwieghed the bad biggrin.gif , ( looking for the room 101 option as there is a lot of new people getting into Northern/Modern/Funk worldwide )

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon M
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As already stated,all the clubs at the time played a fair amount of poppy stompers and wigan was no different,but the quality far out weighed the crap.Mister minshull was possibly the worst offender but a few others werent far behind him,that said wigan was an always will be the best allniter there will ever be imho of course.

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As already stated,all the clubs at the time played a fair amount of poppy stompers and wigan was no different,but the quality far out weighed the crap.Mister minshull was possibly the worst offender but a few others werent far behind him,that said wigan was an always will be the best allniter there will ever be imho of course.

======

for me the 'pop' stuff adds to the mystique of the casino and the playlists they produced

luckily for me i like all of the wigan stuff ,,white black ,,stomp floaters etc

i think it had something for everyone...

most of all it had at atmosphere that will 'never' be equalled ,

wigan forever :lol:

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======

for me the 'pop' stuff adds to the mystique of the casino and the playlists they produced

luckily for me i like all of the wigan stuff ,,white black ,,stomp floaters etc

i think it had something for everyone...

most of all it had at atmosphere that will 'never' be equalled ,

wigan forever :lol:

Ditto Mark

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I never made it to Wigan , but Ive often wondered about the above question . How about some discussion & analysis ( Im sure Robin S , soulfulsaint and geebaby have opinions)

Cheers

Simon biggrin.gif

IMO it was a gradual thing as the boundaries of what was 'northern' shifted from being all about soul to being all about tempo for some DJs. I'm sure some of this was about the lack of access to the type of track John Anderson was finding for Richard yet the remaining expectation that 'new' sounds would be played by the regular jocks.

When tracks like Helen Shapiro get played and the reaction from the floor is positive who can blame Russ and Keith for going further down the 'pop' route.

Those of you that remember Stafford will know that the pressure was on there as well and that led to another shift in what constituted 'northern' with the rejection of tempo as the major defining factor and 'soul' coming back to the fore. It was this reinterpretation for me at least that kept the scene alive. Guy, Keb, Tim and others opened up some rich seams with their contacts stateside had Keith and Russ had these contacts rather than access to the back catalogue at Pye things may have been different. I know that if 'we' hadn't danced to the stuff we now shun it would have withered on the vine perhaps taking Russ and Keith as casualties along the way. The dance floor reaction took Wigan down the pop route so many people that were around then forget that and forget dancing to those pop stompers.

Yes I can admit to dancing to that stuff but then I danced to everything and only left the floor to have a piss or get a 'drink' :D . I'm more descerning now :lol:

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Guest martyn

======

for me the 'pop' stuff adds to the mystique of the casino and the playlists they produced

luckily for me i like all of the wigan stuff ,,white black ,,stomp floaters etc

i think it had something for everyone...

most of all it had at atmosphere that will 'never' be equalled ,

wigan forever :D

Agreed,but for a while the Saturday night atmosphere in the late,late 70s was awful with only a couple of hundred in (the previously mentioned 'barb' era).Luckily this was only a small period of time in The Casino's life-otherwise,yes,unbeatable :lol:

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London record companies became aware of Wigan in about 1974. Some wanted to source original black music for UK release, others wanted to 'create' northern soul and make it the next big thing. Around this time some northern DJs took on record company jobs as advisers and A&R men. Richard Searling and Frank (Ian Dewhirst) being two examples. They were soon followed in a slightly diferent way by Ian Levine, as a producer. Just so this doesn't seem hypocritcial, I should say that I also benefitted from the heightened profile writing first for Pat Brady's fanzine, then Black Echoes and then the NME. The media was increasingly interested in northern soul and wanted people from the scene to give them advice. Trouble is that the media is much less committed than collectors and two things happened. They began to put the northern badge on anything that moved and created music that was uptempo and so could be put in the northern box. Wigan's Ovations being an embarrasing example. If I was honest some like Richard remained utterly faithful to soul, others drifted into more contrived areas of pop and Wigan became a place that sounds both good and bad could be 'broken'. By 1977 punk happned and a bigger sub-cultural bandwagon came along. It was also in London on the media's door-step so rare northern was left to go underground again. Thank god.

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I went up to jan 1980 and never remember there only being a couple of hundred in,sometimes after a fri oldies niter that were packed to the rafters there would be about 500 in but never any less than that.

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Guest martyn

I went up to jan 1980 and never remember there only being a couple of hundred in,sometimes after a fri oldies niter that were packed to the rafters there would be about 500 in but never any less than that.

Then you will remember the pyramid building on an empty dance floor :lol: with Mr Searling comming off of the stage to compleat it................Was only guessing at 200,will give you the benefit of the doubt if you say 500,but the place looked empty

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Thanks for the insite soulfulsaint :lol:

RE: Richard S and John Anderson , great taste from 60's all the way up .. :D

Simon

Edited by Simon M
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Thanks for the insite soulfulsaint :lol:

RE: Richard S and John Anderson , great taste from 60's all the way up .. :D

Simon

==================

im surprised if wigan was so bad that richard would have stayed for so long..he must have respected the dancers / punters to carry on ...

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==================

im surprised if wigan was so bad that richard would have stayed for so long..he must have respected the dancers / punters to carry on ...

Yes and it seems he inspired people like Keb and Robin , to do their thang in the 80's

:lol:

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Yes and it seems he inspired people like Keb and Robin , to do their thang in the 80's

:lol:

====

alot of people thought Richard was god especially as he had the best newies towards the tail end of the wigan era.

russ despite not having the same 'quality' discoveries arguably at this time none the less could 'pack' a dancefloor with his type of playlist

and they had the bonus of being able to play things every week not like these days where the average dj will be lucky to get a gig two months in row

whatever u think about wigan it certainly left a legacy for everyone to discuss good or bad

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Guest martyn

====

alot of people thought Richard was god especially as he had the best newies towards the tail end of the wigan era.

russ despite not having the same 'quality' discoveries arguably at this time none the less could 'pack' a dancefloor with his type of playlist

and they had the bonus of being able to play things every week not like these days where the average dj will be lucky to get a gig two months in row

whatever u think about wigan it certainly left a legacy for everyone to discuss good or bad

Though never a big fan of Russ' spots it would be wrong to suggest that he ONLY played nasty Ron Grainger instrumentals & 'pop'(whatever that is)Three examples that spring to mind from the period we are discussing;

Dutch Robinson

Posse

Creative Source

OK not mega rare but certainly imaginative & definatly what I would class as soul.

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==================

im surprised if wigan was so bad that richard would have stayed for so long..he must have respected the dancers / punters to carry on ...

You don't change horses in the middle of a race.

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Guest Netspeaky

I afraid it's the history of the Soul scene, I can see from various post on here that lots of you were too young to attend the Casino, so it's stands to reason that your history on the UK soul scene is some what limited.

The Wheel played loads of British (White) new releases as the 60's was about an R&B sound, so groups like Spencer Davis, The Faces etc were played amongst the Tamla and Stax tracks.

This just carried on at the Torch so the Casino was a natural extention of this, and carries on even to this day. With the Casino due to the popularity of the place, it also became a commercial opportunity and POP tunes and the tailor mades were the order of the day in the mid 1970's.

Let's face it we didn't always know what was a black/white recording back in those days, if you read B&S from around that time you will be amazed at some of the mistakes that were made with regards to an artists background, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

We can name Classic northern tracks today that we still don't consider being POP, but are by white artists.

The worst of the POP was the embarrassment of tracks like Joe 90 and the Micky Mouse Concerto being played, at least Helen Sharpio "Stop and You become aware" visually sounds like a northern soul record, and if it had been recorded by Kim Weston we would say it was one of the all time classics. :lol::D

Edited by Netspeaky
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I don't understand this general belief that in the late 70's, Wigan was all about 'pop'.

Winstanley and Minshulls playlists contained a fair bit, too much to be honest, and RW in particular played some very poor soul records. But Richard, Pat Brady and Gary Rushbrooke were playing quality soul music throughout that period. In fact IMO some of the best stuff for years.

The 'pyramid building' seems to have taken on mythical status, when in fact Richards playlist at the time should be the thing most discussed.

A lot of Wigan history seems to have been rewritten in a negative way, and so much of peoples opinions come from reading a book or article, often having an agenda, rather than from experience.

How people can slag something that they've never experienced is beyond me to be honest. Yes, they can rubbish (quite rightly in many instances) particular records, but how can thet go on about a venue they never attended ?

I wouldn't dream of commenting about the Wheel, Torch etc, because I never went.

And 200. I don't think it ever got that bad, did it ?

Edited by SteveM
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====

alot of people thought Richard was god especially as he had the best newies towards the tail end of the wigan era.

russ despite not having the same 'quality' discoveries arguably at this time none the less could 'pack' a dancefloor with his type of playlist

and they had the bonus of being able to play things every week not like these days where the average dj will be lucky to get a gig two months in row

whatever u think about wigan it certainly left a legacy for everyone to discuss good or bad

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Then you will remember the pyramid building on an empty dance floor :huh: with Mr Searling comming off of the stage to compleat it................Was only guessing at 200,will give you the benefit of the doubt if you say 500,but the place looked empty

I certainly remember one saturday night after the friday oldies nighter there only being just over 100 in. In the last year 500-600 was a good crowd for a nighter at Wigan, only when it was apparant that the Casino would close did numbers increase.

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Guest martyn

I don't understand this general belief that in the late 70's, Wigan was all about 'pop'.

Winstanley and Minshulls playlists contained a fair bit, too much to be honest, and RW in particular played some very poor soul records. But Richard, Pat Brady and Gary Rushbrooke were playing quality soul music throughout that period. In fact IMO some of the best stuff for years.

The 'pyramid building' seems to have taken on mythical status, when in fact Richards playlist at the time should be the thing most discussed.

A lot of Wigan history seems to have been rewritten in a negative way, and so much of peoples opinions come from reading a book or article, often having an agenda, rather than from experience.

How people can slag something that they've never experienced is beyond me to be honest. Yes, they can rubbish (quite rightly in many instances) particular records, but how can thet go on about a venue they never attended ?

I wouldn't dream of commenting about the Wheel, Torch etc, because I never went.

And 200. I don't think it ever got that bad, did it ?

Steve,

The pyramid building certainly wasn't a myth-I saw it with my own eyes,not through reading a book.My guess was at 200-I may be wrong as I said in a previous post,but belive me the turnouts were LOW for some Saturday nights

I for one was there (like yourself) & tried my best to put the Casino in a good light with my first post which seems to have been largely ignored.

I had some of the best nights of my youth within those walls between 76 & 81 but to ignore the down side of the Casino is hardly painting an honest picture.The main problem I find is that most of those that were to young to have been there, seem to have a totaly warped idea of what it actually like.

To sum up IMHO;

Wigan was the best nighter I ever attended (which I did regularly)

The 'pop' content is largly irrelevant within the bigger picture of what was going down

As with any nighter it had peaks & troughs-but far more peaks

Most of us were block heads, but not all

Some of us were barb heads,but not many

Most of the music was better than todays sounds,but not all

On its day NOTHING could beat the atmosphere generated there & probably never will

I could in those days rant for England & still can ! :huh:

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Steve,

The pyramid building certainly wasn't a myth-I saw it with my own eyes,not through reading a book.My guess was at 200-I may be wrong as I said in a previous post,but belive me the turnouts were LOW for some Saturday nights

I for one was there (like yourself) & tried my best to put the Casino in a good light with my first post which seems to have been largely ignored.

I had some of the best nights of my youth within those walls between 76 & 81 but to ignore the down side of the Casino is hardly painting an honest picture.The main problem I find is that most of those that were to young to have been there, seem to have a totaly warped idea of what it actually like.

To sum up IMHO;

Wigan was the best nighter I ever attended (which I did regularly)

The 'pop' content is largly irrelevant within the bigger picture of what was going down

As with any nighter it had peaks & troughs-but far more peaks

Most of us were block heads, but not all

Some of us were barb heads,but not many

Most of the music was better than todays sounds,but not all

On its day NOTHING could beat the atmosphere generated there & probably never will

I could in those days rant for England & still can ! :yes:

Hi Martyn, I must make my posts clearer. Wasn't saying the pyramid didn't happen, I know it did as I knew Richard quite well around then. I also know it happened because of the lower attendances at the time. It just seems to be remembered rather more than some of the incredible records being played. RW and KM excepted of course :huh:

I wasn't meaning you either when I made the post. Its a general thing on here for quite a few people to slate Wigan when they never went. The whole pop thing imo is seriously overstated.

:lol:

Steve

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I certainly remember one saturday night after the friday oldies nighter there only being just over 100 in. In the last year 500-600 was a good crowd for a nighter at Wigan, only when it was apparant that the Casino would close did numbers increase.

Other than the first 2 last nites wacko.gif:huh: the last time I went, early 81 I guess was dreadfully dreadfully empty & I'm glad that "Awake" mentions 100 because it was absolutely deserted.All a long time ago now & difficult to be precise but truly awful, especially having travelled up from London on my own. That was one bloody long night :lol:

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Guest martyn

Other than the first 2 last nites wacko.gif:yes: the last time I went, early 81 I guess was dreadfully dreadfully empty & I'm glad that "Awake" mentions 100 because it was absolutely deserted.All a long time ago now & difficult to be precise but truly awful, especially having travelled up from London on my own. That was one bloody long night :huh:

So it wasn't just me then.....phew :lol:

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Guest martyn

Hi Martyn, I must make my posts clearer. Wasn't saying the pyramid didn't happen, I know it did as I knew Richard quite well around then. I also know it happened because of the lower attendances at the time. It just seems to be remembered rather more than some of the incredible records being played. RW and KM excepted of course :huh:

I wasn't meaning you either when I made the post. Its a general thing on here for quite a few people to slate Wigan when they never went. The whole pop thing imo is seriously overstated.

:yes:

Steve

Agreed :lol:

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Its interesting to ask why Wign went pop? In truth white artists have always been played on the scene, indeed many white bands were the foundations of the scene.e.g; Wayne Fontana, Spencer Davis and others were played in the very early days. Indeed if you look though the Kec Roberts top 500, about 15-20% are white artists.

I went to Wigan from the beginning until 78 (and lots of other venues before Wigan) most of the time in the ealry days the music was great black music, there was still white artists played, but the headline 'pop' records really skewed the truth about the scene.

One of downfalls was not so much pop, but just shite records (black or white), that perhaps was the tragedy.

Still, one thing you can never change, in it's heyday, it was magic, period.

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Guest Craig the Manc

So it wasn't just me then.....phew :huh:

Not on your own on this one.

I remember a period from roughly Jan 81 upto the 500th Allnighter on May 16th 1981 where the average attendance was @150 on Saturday's

It was only the first friday in the month on the Oldies special did people take the time to get out.

Dont forget the recession was hitting the UK at the time and most people didn't have the resources to attend on a weekly basis which didn't help matters.

As for white "pop" there was also black "pop" to feed the dance floor. Who can forget James Coit - Black Power.... :lol:

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Not on your own on this one.

I remember a period from roughly Jan 81 upto the 500th Allnighter on May 16th 1981 where the average attendance was @150 on Saturday's

It was only the first friday in the month on the Oldies special did people take the time to get out.

Dont forget the recession was hitting the UK at the time and most people didn't have the resources to attend on a weekly basis which didn't help matters.

As for white "pop" there was also black "pop" to feed the dance floor. Who can forget James Coit - Black Power.... whistling.gif

======

there were sometimes only 50 in stafford but still had a corking nite cuz of the music and people....

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The proof of the pudding is in the eating-Which of you would NOT wan't a couple of hours in a time machine to re-visit Wigan,even if they did play Helen Shapiro & Jackie Trent during the two hours you were there? whistling.gif

I've just read every post on this topic, went a lot from 74-78, how many times have i had this thought about just one more night - just as it was then - same people, same sounds ( "pop" included ) - like nowhere else i've ever been to since!! Great to dream isnt it!?

Alan

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Guest Craig the Manc

I've just read every post on this topic, went a lot from 74-78, how many times have i had this thought about just one more night - just as it was then - same people, same sounds ( "pop" included ) - like nowhere else i've ever been to since!! Great to dream isnt it!?

Alan

Amen to that....Once you've experienced the best, it's hard to emulate the experience.

But I'm gonna keep trying cos' I love the scene, the people, the music and the venue's... yes.gif

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:D

Wigan Casino

like everywhere else that was popular to go to and was classed as a club

was always a pop venue,and played future chart sounds as did all clubs in the 6ts and 7ts and which still goes on today in the clubs of 2K

Its the soul sounds of today that are getting more northern exposure in our clubs and even they are getting some results in the charts

"Angie Stone" I Wish I Didnt Miss You" for example

so my answer to the original question is.

Was soul pop? very good indeed,makes u think doesnt it ?

:D:Dshades.gif

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I went up to jan 1980 and never remember there only being a couple of hundred in,sometimes after a fri oldies niter that were packed to the rafters there would be about 500 in but never any less than that.

I have always been puzzled by this too, always seemed packed to me, sometimes a little less than previous years, but never the couple of hundred I have often heard quoted.

Russ

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I have always been puzzled by this too, always seemed packed to me, sometimes a little less than previous years, but never the couple of hundred I have often heard quoted.

Russ

Worst i remember was some Saturdays, when we used to go to the oldies on Friday, Mecca Sat evening, then Casino again Sat all nighter, but dont reckon ever less than 500 ish. Think people forget how big a place it was!! We used to have about 20 in our mini bus!!!

Alan

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In answer to to the original post Wigan was never solely a pop venue. There were far more great records played than there were inferior ones, but like all venues there were with hindsite some dubious plays. But this can be said of every venue from before & after including present day. I wasnt old enough to realise, I was just enjoying myself.

I went to Wigan from '77 onwards, to me it was heaven, I cannot even come close to describing the feelings this venue evoked in me. If I am honest I was a young kid who thought I knew what soul music was all about, but retrospectively it wasnt until years later that I think I finally got it. To me Wigan was all about dancing & IMVHO Searling amongst a select few others played from about '78 some of the best Northern Soul ever discovered on the planet. I remember vividly dancing to the Delites, Vickie Baines, The Agents, Carol Anderson, John & the Weirdest, Mr Soul, etc, etc, etc the first time they were played at the Casino & the place rocking, my heart beating like it was gonna burst out of my chest because I was so excited at hearing these amazing new discoveries & this was listening to new discoveries week in & week out for years. To try & describe this to a non Casino goer is fruitless, for me there is nothing that can compare. I ran in when the doors opened, got on the dancefloor & stayed there till 8am virtually. I went to the oldies nighters too, but this was an extra for me, I went oldies on Friday, normal nighter Saturday & the Top of the World or Locarno Alldayer on the Sunday.

BTW I was also completely oblivious to any oldies v's newies or 6ts v's Modern debates, other than what I read in the fanzines & magazines. The floor was packed to every record regardless of year or genre & I danced to every record I liked with equal enthusiasm, to be honest I long for the open minded playlists more than the venue, even tho there was some pop played, with regard to playing everything & it pretty much being excepted on merit & nothing else.

But time goes on & my allegiance to the music goes deeper than my respect for one venue, I dont beleive in living in the past & Wigan Casino was a great venue, but there were great venues before & there were great venues after & there will continue to be great venues into the future. To me the 100 Club is king & has been one of the extremely few real Northern/Rare Soul venues for years. I think my memories of the 100 Club will be just as lasting as those from the Casino................to me its gotta be about the music every time.

The Casino played some pop stompers amongst a lot of other stuff, some good, some bad, some indifferent, but on the whole the music was fantastic.

Lets keep pushing the envelope with the music & we will have more great venues to look forard to too.

Russ

Edited by Russ Vickers
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In answer to to

I went to Wigan from '77 onwards, to me it was heaven, I cannot even come close to describing the feelings this venue evoked in me. If I am honest I was a young kid who thought I knew what soul music was all about, but retrospectively it wasnt until years later that I think I finally got it. To me Wigan was all about dancing & IMVHO Searling amongst a select few others played from about '78 some of the best Northern Soul ever discovered on the planet. I remember vividly dancing to the Delites, Vickie Baines, The Agents, Carol Anderson, John & the Weirdest, Mr Soul, etc, etc, etc the first time they were played at the Casino & the place rocking, my heart beating like it was gonna burst out of my chest because I was so excited at hearing these amazing new discoveries & this was listening to new discoveries week in & week out for years. To try & describe this to a non Casino goer is fruitless, for me there is nothing that can compare. I ran in when the doors opened, got on the dancefloor & stayed there till 8am virtually.

Same years as me Russ, ditto what you say above. Yes Wigan did play pop but the tunes filled the dnacefloor at the time, Bobby Goldsboro, Muriel Day, and all the others mentioned in thses posts. Funny though, as much as I hated a lot of them (admittedly not when I first heard them) due to the fact that may of them got hammered by certain DJ's - sometimes twice in the same spot! thats when they started to piss me off, but hey all we did was retire to the balcony for a pie and a chat, waiting for RS or Alan Rhodes spot later on. But listening on cd's etc in the car to B Goldsboro et al is great, and does remind me of my 'mis-spent' youth.

These days too many people slag the Casino off, half of them probably never even went (or weren't even born - lucky sods!) - well I certainly won't make any apologies for the best nights of my life. Some Wigan memories for me:-

* being there when the likes of Eddie Daye, Vickie Baines, etc were played out for the first time

* pissing myslef when my mate goty head-butted by that twat of a bouncer on the door with the long hair - just because everyone was pushing forward (as they always did)

* nice hot brew and a pint of milk at the baths the morning after

* the announcements on the cold wet windy stn platform on a sunday morning when they announced your train was delayed an hour

* dodging the wigan pissheads on the way to the casino as the pubs spilled out - one called the Bees Knees if I remember right

* scrapping with the punks outside the casino early on one night

* being bollocked in 1980 by G Marshall in his office for taking my girlfreinds cousin in one night (he was only 13!) - we sneaked him in but got sussed - they let him stay though!

* having 12 months out in 1979 - but still mesmorised by the place (alythough surprised at the downfall in numbers) when I went back in 1980

....oh and the 'POP' music played there LOL

Memories

Grant

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